Working with The Arts Fuse and Over My Shoulder Foundation

Excited to be working with several new clients including Bill Marx’s The Arts Fuse and Dawn Carroll’s Over My Shoulder Foundation. Very different in what they are doing, but both great non-profits working in the Boston area!

Many of you in Boston will remember Bill Marx as the theater critic at WBUR for well as regularly writing for The Boston Globe and The Boston Phoenix. As arts writers and critics have decreased at traditional print, television, and radio outlets, Marx has been bringing writers from across New England together into The Arts Fuse with well over 50 contributors who have helped fill a void in arts criticism. I’m helping The Arts Fuse out with a mix of marketing including brand development, SEO, social media marketing, advertising, and email marketing.

Dawn Carroll is an award-winning stone designer who currently works for CUMAR Marble and Granite in Everett, but is also the co-founder of the Over My Shoulder Foundation, which helps inspire people to mentor others. With every January being National Mentoring Month (started by Harvard’s School of Public Health, among others), I’m working with the Over My Shoulder Foundation on an event this week (featuring the foundation’s co-founder, Grammy® Award-winner Patti Austin and a variety of marketing including media relations, branding, and social media marketing.

To find out more about these two Boston organizations, visit The Arts Fuse and Over My Shoulder Foundation.

More news to share soon…

Teaching “Marketing and The Internet” at Emerson College this spring

Last winter and spring I taught “Marketing and The Internet” at Emerson College for the first time and it was great fun.

I’ve taught seminars and workshops about marketing and social media over the last few years, for The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, when I worked at ArtsBoston to arts organizations in Greater Boston, at Boston University, for Future of Music Coalition, at Stone Hill College, and for various Chamber of Commerce associations, so I was excited to have the chance to teach a full semester at Emerson College as part of their Professional Studies & Special Programs.

The 10-week long course focuses on digital marketing…
* building your marketing strategy
* affiliate marketing
* search engine optimization (SEO)
* pay per click advertising
* Twitter
* Facebook
* social media marketing
* viral marketing
* online reputation management
* web public relations
* web development and design
* online copywriting
* web analytics
* mobile marketing
* customer relationship management
* market research
* online surveys

We talk a lot about strategy throughout the semester and, at the end of the course, each student presents their marketing plan for their project, either based on an actual product or service or perhaps based on a product or service you’d like to use as an example.

I really wanted the final result of the course to be a marketing plan that you can use to implement over the coming months and see the tangible results and benefits. The course is very practical in its approach.

Last spring, the students were a mix of people working at small businesses (and strategizing about how to stretch their marketing dollars and their own time) and students working at larger corporations (where some digital marketing practices can be slow to gain traction, as they often do at big organizations!) get them solid results. These included brands like Holly Caldwell, Pearson Higher Ed, Susan Piver, and Theta Nu Xi, so the projects and services the students were working on really ran the gamut.

Using some excellent teaching materials from Quirk, including a free textbook and additional web readings and video that I selected, I found the class really demystified much of digital marketing and helped the students to make smarter decisions about where to put their time and efforts in order to show solid results.

The class costs $650.00 and, since all the readings are online, there is no textbook to purchase. Classes are held on Emerson’s campus, across from Boston Common.

You can register on Emerson College’s site, let me know if you have any questions at charlie(at)layers or leave a comment below and I’ll answer.


Why Layers?

Over the years, I’ve worked with people at companies large and small, for profit or non-profit, marketing to consumers or businesses. No matter what the product or service that people are looking to promote, there is often the thought (or hope!) that there will be a silver bullet: one activity that is going to be such a hit that it will make it all a huge success with a minimum of effort.

It’s a little bit of a joke among marketing folks, this idea that success will come easy if only you do the right thing.

But, of course, there is no such thing!

Although I’ve been doing marketing consulting for a number of years, I wanted a new name to work under now that I’m finding an ever-growing appetite for marketing expertise and consulting. Instead of that elusive silver bullet, to me it’s all about the layers you choose to make your product or service a success. Thinking strategically about where you would put your efforts is the first and smartest step. For me, I guess it’s all about choosing the right layers (and then executing on the marketing plan) that is the key to any company’s success.

And so, Layers Marketing was born!

Through the years, I’ve worked in a mix of music, media, entertainment, and software companies and have had a passion for everything from food to journalism, technology  to transportation, and education to events.

One thing I’ve been lucky to do? Work at companies, on projects, and with brands that I really loved what they did. With launching Layers, I feel like I’m lucky enough to continue doing this and especially work with companies, projects, or brands that I care about and want to help succeed.

So, for those who haven’t met me, here’s a little history:

I was born and raised in Flushing, Queens, in New York City and received an education in film, video, and radio production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, I worked in film and television production for a few years before getting into marketing at HBO and really found what I was passionate about. This was during the early 90s, when HBO was making terrific feature films and still dabbling in series (such as Dream On, The Larry Sanders Show, Tales From The Crypt, and many others) along with some amazing concerts, including Madonna, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, and Whitney Houston.

Love brought me to Seattle, where I worked at MovieMaker magazine in both marketing and editorial roles, helping the indie filmmaking publication with re-branding projects and a redesign that helped take it to a new level of professionalism. MovieMaker is still publishing today, no small fete in today’s advertising market!

I worked for several years at the Seattle International Film Festival, the USA’s longest and largest film festival, with marketing the festival as well as producing their 25th Anniversary commemorative book.

But I was missing the east coast, so my wife Stacey and I moved back to the northeast, finding ourselves quickly at home in Boston, Massachusetts, a city that in some ways is equal parts New York City and Seattle.

Once in Boston, I worked at Fast Company (when it was still phone-book size, though that didn’t last forever) in business development and their amazing RealTime business events and at WGBH (getting to work on such iconic shows at This Old House and The Victory Garden as well as launching series for Gourmet magazine, Todd English, and Real Simple magazine.)

Having worked in film, television, publishing, and events, one of the final areas of interest was the performing arts, where I helped ArtsBoston with their rebranding and the launch of their online calendar.

After moving to Boston, I also started hosting and producing Well-Rounded Radio, a podcast series (named before podcasting got its name!) featuring in-depth interviews with musicians and industry thought leaders. I’ve interviewed more than 80 people for the series and, as a former musician myself, it’s been a labor of love to produce.

In recent years, I’ve also been teaching marketing and social media at seminars and to companies, as well as at Emerson College, Boston University, and Stonehill College.

While the field of marketing has changed dramatically along with changes in technology, I’ve been lucky enough to stay on top of all of it, largely thanks to Well-Rounded Radio, using social media and the web to promote the interview series. From Friendster to Myspace to Facebook, from blogs to Twitter to realtime marketing, from mainstream media being the only one holding the megaphone to millions of net users each having a voice in the conversation, I’ve watched as marketing has changed.

These days, there are oodles of social media “experts” who say you should give up on traditional marketing, but does that make sense? Consumers don’t all spend all their time online and on the phone. Sure, some small percentage does, but if you’re like most businesses, your customers live, work, and play in the real world. They read newspapers and magazines, listen to the radio, watch TV, take trains, planes, and automobiles, so, while I agree social media is great, it should be part of a broader marketing strategy, helping you find and attract new customers.

That’s what I do with Layers Marketing: look at each client from a fresh perspective, talk with clients about how to best identify existing and future customers, and put together a plan that will help each company reach the next level of its success through smart, economical, and strategic marketing.

If you are looking for some help with marketing strategy and execution, please contact me and we’ll schedule a free, 30 minute consultation where I can learn more about your business, organization, or project and see if we’d both like to take the next step!

I can be reached by email at or by phone at 617.233.6613.

I look forward to hearing from you!